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The "G" Word - Give



Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.


Ephesians 5:25-28


Nobody likes to give up. When we were kids, did you ever give up easily in any game you played? We didn’t. Giving up was admitting defeat, saying that the other team or person was better than us.


Giving up in the movies is also seen as an act of weakness and cowardness. The only exception is when the hero gives themselves up to save the love of their life. Think about the end of Die Hard when John McClane only has two bullets left to save his wife.


It’s easy to talk about husbands loving their wives. After all, husbands will spend about $175 on Valentine’s Day to tell their wives that they love them[1]. We have a special day to talk about loving each other.


But there is no such holiday for husbands giving themselves up for their wives. It’s something we don’t talk about very much. It makes the guy sound weak, like he’s not a real man, not a leader but a soft follower.


But nothing could be further from the truth. The husband’s model of giving himself to his wife is Jesus. He was God from all eternity past and he willingly choose to come to earth. Not to sit on a throne or be told how great he was. He came to serve and die.


Jesus shows self-sacrificing love that urges him to make daily choices for the well-being and benefit of us. And that’s what he delivered each and every day of his life. And at the end, he willingly gave himself up to torture and death on a cross for us.[2] Now, that’s some kind of giving up.


There is nothing weak about Jesus. Period. His lovingkindness wants nothing but the best for us. He doesn’t just roll over and do whatever we want. He’s not passive in any way, shape, or form. He delivers by giving himself for you and me.


I am never more of a Godly man when I give myself up for my wife. That’s when I’m willing to give up what I want in favor of what she needs. There is no greater act of loving obedience to God than when I humbly and willingly give myself for my wife.


I could fill the libraries of the world with Bible commentaries and devotionals. I could lead a dozen small groups. I could stand on a street corner and share Jesus. I could speak in front of hundreds of people. And none of that would even come close to the loving impact of giving myself for my wife.


So, where do I go to find out how to give myself up? Is it on Facebook or Instagram? Is there a website with a three-point program? Is there an app that sends me texts, reminding me how to do it? Do wives use this truth to beat their husband up?


The source of learning how to give yourself is “through the word.” God’s word is where we need to be spending time, getting to know God. When we see who he is, and all he has done for us, our loving response is to love him back and serve others. And there is no greater service to others than for a husband to give himself up for his wife.


You might be thinking that you’ve never seen this in action. I understand. In the house I grew up in, there was absolutely no giving up. It was a loud battle of wills and words. Everyone was trying desperately to get on top and stay there.


But I saw it in the man who would become my father-in-law. He truly loved his wife and willingly gave himself for her. Yes, he had a strong personality, but there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t give up for his wife. From washing dishes, to helping cook big pots of spaghetti sauce, to freezing and canning vegetables. He was willing to purposefully set aside his desires for her benefit. For what she needed.


We all need models where Godly love and giving is on display. But the greatest model is Jesus himself.


I am the good shepherd, and the good shepherd gives up his life for his sheep.


John 10:11 CEV


Jesus gave up his throne in heaven. He gave up being worshiped by the angels. And then, he gave up his life to pay the ransom that was on our heads. The ransom we couldn’t pay. He did all the giving so that we could do all the receiving.


Yes, husbands are commanded to give themselves up. So, husbands, get going and start giving yourself up. Be willing to set aside your pride and plans for the love of your life.


But this is not just for husbands. We’re all called and commanded to give ourselves up, to submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. No matter your marital status, we are all commanded to submit to one another[3].


Noodling Questions


  • Explain what you think men feel about giving themselves to their wives.

  • How can husbands be encouraged to give themselves up for their wives?

  • List things that are stopping men from giving themselves up for their wives.

[1] The total spend in the US on Valentine’s Day is about $24 billion [2] Philippians 2:6-8 [3] Ephesians 5:21

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